I am not a lawyer. But I do have to live in their shitty world, so I get to have opinions anyway.
For a long time I used the MIT license for all my open-source projects. Really I just used it for everything, because I shoved everything onto github and github encourages you to set a license, and not knowing the difference I would just pick MIT because it was small and easy to read.
Eventually I came to understand that the MIT license is next to pointless. The first half only really prevents someone from re-distributing your software with a different license. But people do it anyway, and none of us are going to do anything about it. The second half of the license is a release of liability, and everyone knows that releases of liability are for babies.
After ceasing to use MIT, and beginning to transition my life off of github, I began to use the WTFPL. This website, in fact, uses the WTFPL. I like the WTFPL because it's an overt acknowledgement that copyright licenses are stupid, because copyright itself is stupid. Just use the fucking thing that I'm releasing into the world, why are we making this so hard? And there's an added bonus that if any real lawyers were to come across it they would probably have to spin their wheels trying to decide if it's legally defensible or not (spoiler: it doesn't matter).
The WTFPL, to put it simply, is punk.
Lately I've been wondering if I could be doing more here. Maybe I could swing the pendulum the other way, to the GPL? I've always been aware of the GPL, but mostly in negative ways. The terms of the GPL are so strict (supposedly) that they sometimes create confusion and ambiguity for users, to the extent that (supposedly) some companies don't allow employees to use GPL'd projects for fear that the EFF would forcibly open-source their precious widgets! And to top it all off, Richard Stallman is an ass.
I want a license like the GPL, but with more clarity, and sharper teeth. Something mean:
If you ship a product, paid or not, and my code (or a derivative of it) was used to create that product, then that product's source code must be released to its users under my mean license. Also, you have to do 20 push ups.
Something like that.
The beauty is that anyone who is concerned about keeping the ownership of their code (aka companies who expect to make money off of it) wouldn't touch this license with a ten foot pole. Everyone else can just ignore it (just like the GPL). If it were to take off we could end up with a whole bizzaro world of software that people who believe in copyright can't use, but which is itself essentially without copyright within that world.
Perhaps this is what the GPL was intended to be? I've seen some summaries which describe it like this (sans the push ups), but others which don't. I need something unequivocal, or nothing at all.
The question, then, is: is it more punk to have a license which uses the word "fuck" in it? Or a license which uses copyright to create a world without copyright?
Probably neither, because people are gonna tell me that I'm using "punk" wrong.
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